At Paramount and Fenway

When the ingredients of a movie are dancing by Astaire, singing by Crosby, and music by Berlin, it's a sure-fire hit. For entertainment "Holiday Inn" almost hits the top; all a spectator could ask would be more music and less story. By way of songs, this show turns out to be one of the most prolific in months. Besides the warmed over Berlin favorites, "Lazy" and "Easter Parade," two new tunes are noteworthy, "White Christmas" and "Be Careful, It's My Heart." Astaire at his agile best with an inebriate routine and a firecracker number shows his first top-notch work since the good old days with Ginger Rogers.

Sharing the male lead, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire both do polished, nonchalant, and routine jobs on parts that don't ask very much. Surprise star, blonde, pert Marjorie Reynolds, dances remarkably well, handles her role adequately, and looks like a dream. Of all the galaxy of stars which have been paraded out to fill Ginger Rogers' shoes as Astaire's dancing partner, she has the best chance of making the grade.

Forget the plot; it is simple but manages to dull a potentially A-1 musical. If Crosby were left to his singing, and Astaire to his dancing, the show would move faster. The one spark of originality, a holiday inn (Berlin's contribution we are told), was snowed under by a standardized development leading to the inevitable clinch.

If you want entertainment, laughs, and good music, by all means see "Holiday Inn," but don't look for a plot. And if you're inclined to stake your money on long shots, place a little side bet on Marjorie Reynolds. She is going up--and then some.